How to Get a Business License for Your Tech Firm
Secure a business license to start your technology company by following these seven steps. Protect your business & get a free, no obligation quote today with TechInsurance.
So you've decided to start your own business. Whether you plan to operate as a sole proprietor, a partnership, or an enterprise with employees, the process of launching a business starts with filing certain paperwork to make your status official. Here's a brief guide to getting a business license for your tech company so you can start serving customers and bringing in revenue.
7 Steps to Getting a Business License
The process of securing a business license or permit could take as little as a few days or as long as several weeks. Your experience will depend on where you live and what type of business you plan to operate.
- Find out which permits and licenses you need. Thanks to the Small Business Administration's Permit Me tool, you can identify the permits and licenses you need to operate simply by submitting your zip code and selecting the type of business you plan to launch.
- Register with the IRS. If you're operating as a sole proprietor, you may not have to do this, but those who plan to have employees or partners (as well as those who form corporations) will need an employee identification number (EIN). You've probably seen these while filling out tax forms.
- Complete licensing paperwork. Based on your location and industry, you'll need to fill out certain forms to obtain a license. The SBA's site guides you through this process.
- Complete paperwork for local permits. These documents ensure that you're ready to do business in your area of the state. Depending on where you plan on operating, you may have to register at the city, municipality, or county level.
- Register with appropriate state agencies. File your paperwork with the state agencies identified by the SBA.
- Choose a business name. This might be the most fun you have throughout the business licensing process. Commonly called a d/b/a, or "doing business as," your business name is what customers will know you by. This allows sole proprietors to name their business something other than their name and lets all businesses, among other things.
- Complete other employer requirements. If you plan on having employees in your business, you'll have to fill out a variety of employer forms, including tax information and information about certain types of insurance. (Most states, for example, require all businesses with employees to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance.)
The good news for tech firms? Nearly everything on this list can be completed online. Some states require you to create an account in order to complete and submit information over the Internet, but the savings in time and postage can be significant.
Writtten by Brenna Lemieux - check her out at Google+ or Twitter